Queensland and Victorian voters have rejected the Liberals and National parties’ savage treatment of TAFE. It’s the turn of NSW voters next month.Greens candidate for Clarence, Janet Cavanaugh, today supported calls by Greens NSW MP and Education spokesperson John Kaye for the community to protect the future of TAFE when voting in next month’s state election.
|Janet Cavanaugh at Grafton TAFE|
“Queensland and Victorian voters recently rejected the Liberals and National parties’ short-sighted agenda of privatising public assets and essential public services like TAFE,” Ms Cavanaugh said. “It’s the turn of NSW voters next month.
“In talking to the community, it is clear that the cuts to TAFE’s budget and staff, the massive increases in student fees, and the ever-increasing flow of public money to dodgy private training providers are deeply unpopular with voters.
“The four TAFE colleges in Clarence — at Casino, Grafton, Maclean and Trenayr — have suffered greatly in the past 5 years. First Labor savagely cut the TAFE budget in half. Then the NSW Liberal-National Government deleted courses, pushed students into online training and cut more than 1110 staff statewide.
“The Greens are calling for all cuts made since 2010 to be reversed,” she said.
Dr Kaye said: “The NSW Government's Reskilling NSW package, while finally acknowledging the appalling damage they have done to TAFE, goes nowhere near restoring TAFE's viability or re-creating the opportunities for education and training that have been lost.
"When averaged over 200,000 scholarships, the $48 million it promises provides only $240 per student.
"It's hard to see what TAFE can provide at that rate, given the funding cuts it has already sustained due to the introduction of the Liberals and Nationals’ Smart and Skilled training market.
“NSW Labor's policy of abolishing Smart and Skilled is a good start but voters should be wary. Labor is still committed to high fees and a training market that can eat up 30% of TAFE's funding.
“When they were in office, Labor stripped $1 billion out of TAFE’s budget and it was the federal Gillard Government that forced NSW to sign up to the competitive market.
“The Greens restate our commitment to work to end the public funding of private providers where a particular course can be offered by TAFE.
|Dr John Kaye with Janet Cavanaugh outside Grafton TAFE|
“However, our priority is to stop Smart and Skilled from destroying TAFE. If we can't stop the scheme entirely, we would limit non-TAFE providers to 20% of public funding, ban any public funds for new non-TAFE providers and prohibit any public funding of for-profit training providers.
“Queensland and Victoria have voted to rescue TAFE from oblivion. On 28 March, NSW will get its turn to vote for TAFE,” said Dr Kaye.
For more information:
John Kaye 0407 195 455
Janet Cavanaugh 0429 479 968